Building a prototype for your product is essential for making your idea a concrete reality. Entrepreneurs are putting more and more focus on prototype development because a compelling prototype can attract new investors. Prototypes show what works and what doesn’t work. That helps generate feedback and can facilitate a connection between potential investors and your vision. In the end, if you want to get funded and gain traction in the business world, you’re going to want a compelling prototype. So, what is the key to successful prototype development? Read these five essential tips to find out.
5 Essential Tips for Prototyping
- Be Specific. Before you put all your time and effort into your prototype, you need to have a plan of action. Take into consideration the following questions. What is your overall plan for your product? How is it different from other products that already exist? What is the market for your product? Who is your target consumer? Where do you want to sell your product? Also, make sure you can clearly explain the specifics of your prototype including, specifics about functionality, aesthetics, use, etc. as well as your overall business plan to anyone who might have an interest in it.
- Talk to Potential Manufacturers. At some point of your prototype stage you’re going to need to identify potential manufacturers. Once you’ve contacted a potential manufacturer, ask for their portfolio. You want to get a good idea of what they’ve done in the past. Pay attention to its manufacturing capabilities and expertise, as well as its signature aesthetic. If you’re planning on creating a cutting-edge alarm clock but a potential manufacturer doesn’t have any experience in electronics, it’s probably a bad match.
- Be Realistic. If you’ve been imagining your product in a metal version, but you test it and realize plastic actually performs better for your application and at a lower cost. What do you do in this situation? Go with plastic, even if it does differ from your original version. When you take your idea from theory to physical reality, you need to be realistic. It’s crucial to take a pragmatic approach and be willing to make changes when necessary. Flexibility really is the key to a successful prototype.
- Create a Connection. Good prototypes should always help foster an emotional connection between your product and potential investors. Remember, when you show up at business meetings with a prototype in hand, whether you’re meeting with a venture capitalist or a potential licensing company, you immediately stand out from the crowd of investors who have likely approached these professionals with nothing more than a vague idea in their heads. If you have a prototype that professionals actually connect with, you gain a bigger advantage over the competition.
- Listen to Feedback. Having a physical prototype is a great way to get feedback and input from potential investors. A prototype is especially useful when it comes to exposing weaknesses or flaws in your idea. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it helps investors understand what additional resources are needed to develop your product to its fullest potential. Be sure to listen to what these investors have to say. There is no point in getting prototype feedback if you’re not going to use it. Even if you think that your prototype is perfect, there is always room for improvement. Pay attention to what people have to say.
For more information on plastic prototyping and what Design-Tek can do for you, contact us today at 801-393-4400.